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On November 2, 1889, the Dakota Territory ceased to exist, becoming the states of North and South Dakota — or so the history books tell us.

Law enforcement officers across the country are preparing to make widespread use of facial recognition equipment to identify people based on a picture of their face or a scan of their iris, or on a fingerprint reader. And concerns have already been raised among the liberty-minded over how the information would be gathered and used.

The topic of the14th Amendment of the United States Constitution is continuing to stir debate in Washington, with those who favor increasing the debt limit at any cost raising the specter of President Obama simply overruling Congress and authorizing the issuance of new debt without the consent of lawmakers. According to this storyline, the president need only invoke Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” If Congress refuses to abide by its constitutional obligation to ensure government debts are paid, argue certain of Obama’s supporters, then the president would be justified in simply imposing his will on Congress to ensure that the 14th Amendment’s prohibition of government default is honored.

In an op-ed published last Thursday in the Wall Street Journal, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), declared that “Republicans in the Senate are united” behind the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment.

A conservative legal advocacy group has come to the rescue of a New Jersey man who was told by authorities in his community that he could not display a cross in his yard. In early July the Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to officials in the township of Livingston (picture, left) asking them to cease from employing an ordinance prohibiting homeowner Patrick Racaniello from displaying crosses in various areas of his front yard. Local police had used the ordinance as justification for ordering Racaniello to remove a cross he was displaying on a tree in his front yard in celebration of Lent, after one of his neighbors had complained.

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